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Friday, March 28, 2008

Meeting Minutes

The minutes from the last VSPC meeting are avaialbe. If you would like a copy, please email Christy at

Priorities for the Coalition were set. They are:
• Solidify Membership
o Applications
o Identify who we are currently missing and invite them to participate
• Reconnect with DMHMRSAS.
• Raise awareness of the Virginia Suicide Prevention Coalition. This is a group effort! Mention the blog whenever you can, include it on resource materials, etc.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Urgent Request From CrisisLink

Fairfax Funding for Crisis Hotlines At-Risk: Come Show Your Support April 2nd

Join us to show your support for continued funding of CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines.

We urgently need community members and supporters to turn out on April 2nd to show support for continued Fairfax County funding for CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines:
• WHEN: Wednesday, April 2
• WHAT: Fairfax Board of Supervisors Public Hearing FY09 Budget
• TIME: Begins @ 7:00 pm, CrisisLink is speaker #37 so please be there by 8:00 pm
• WHERE: Fairfax County Government Center
• Directions:

Your action is essential to ensuring that CrisisLink can keep our Crisis Hotlines going 24/7/365-so please bring your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues too!

The Fairfax County-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) has proposed eliminating all funding for CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines in FY09. Fairfax-Falls Church CSB funding represents approximately 25% of CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines budget.

Thank you to the 63 supporters who showed up at the Fairfax Human Services Council meeting on March 10th--the Council was very impressed by this turnout, but we need an even bigger turnout this time!

April 2nd is your major chance to show support for Fairfax funding of CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines in FY09.

The need for CrisisLink's Crisis Hotlines is greater than ever before:
• Last year, CrisisLink took over 7,600 calls from Fairfax callers, up 40% from just the year before.
• In 2006, suicides outnumbered homicides by 5:1 in Fairfax County
• Based on a national study, if CrisisLink prevented only 10% of Fairfax callers calling about suicide from attempting suicide in FY07, we saved Fairfax County over $1,078,000 in 9-1-1, police, emergency services, emergency room and treatment costs in that year alone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Half of Us

The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on preventing suicide among college students, and mtvU, MTV's college network, have dedicating March programming to college students' mental health. A component of the "Half of Us" campaign, the programming will focus on the toll that stress and other emotional issues are having on the national college audience and provide additional online resources and information about where to get help on campus. Learn more about this campaign and current programming at mtvU’s “Half of Us” website.

Stop Bullying Web-cast

Stop Bullying Now! Web cast
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Community Action: What YOU can do to Stop Bullying Now!
Hosted by HRSA and

The Stop Bullying Now! Web cast will feature "spotlight examples" of state- and community-level campaigns that use the Stop Bullying Now! resources, and will outline how YOU can put the resources to work locally. The web cast will also include a brief overview of the entire Stop Bullying Now! Campaign and its resources.

Presenters will include: CAPT Stephanie Bryn, MPH - U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration. Dr. Susan Limber - Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life Clemson University

Spotlight on school, community and state developed programming.

To register online, go to

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mental Health Parity Passes U.S. House

On March 5, 2008, the United States House of Representatives passed The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (H.R. 1424). The final vote was 268-148.

The U.S. Senate passed its version of mental health parity legislation (S. 558) on September 18, 2007. The House and Senate will now need to reach consensus on differences between the two bills so that the same bill can be re-passed by the House and Senate and sent to President George W. Bush. SPAN USA hopes that the differences can be worked out quickly so that millions of Americans will see equity between mental health and addiction recovery services and those for physical health services.

SPAN USA appreciates all of the hard work Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) as well as the House leadership provided to obtain passage of federal mental health parity legislation in the U.S. House. Finally, SPAN USA thanks all of its grassroots advocates who sent emails seeking cosponsorship of the bill and who called their representatives asking them to vote for it. Advocacy in Action works!

More information can be found on the SPAN website.

Veteran's in Virginia

Va. Braces for veterans' needs, Washington Post, Mar. 1, 2008
Officials in Virginia are grappling with how to meet the mental health needs of the state’s returning veterans that choose to access community services instead of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services. The article cites many reasons for veterans not utilizing VA services, including lack of proximity of VA centers, possible stigma from other service members, and long waiting lists for services. More information can be found at the SPRC website.

LGBT Issues: Free Training Teleconference

This just in from SPRC's Spark: Registration is now open for a free teleconference training entitled “Reducing Stigma and Discrimination among People who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)".This teleconference, presented by SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated With Mental Illness (ADS Center), is planned for Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 2:00–3:30p.m. ET. To read more about this event and link to the registration page, visit ADS Center. Note: Registration for this teleconference will close at 5:00p.m. on Monday, March 10.